Socialist Worker

The war project lies in tatters

Issue No. 1"

THE WAR against Iraq was always about achieving the goals of the “neo-conservative” thugs behind the Project for the New American Century. They believed that conquering Iraq would help US capitalism dominate the world for the foreseeable future. This domination was to be guaranteed by a massive display of destructive power aimed at giving them control of a vital source of oil. Blair went along with this so as to get a small place in the US sun for British big business. But it all depended on being able to triumph quickly with the minimal number of troops, leaving the US free to throw its weight around in other places. A central part of US strategy is to be able to fight two or more wars at the same time if necessary and to avoid getting all their armed forces tied up in one conflict. The “Rumsfeld doctrine”, developed by the US defence secretary, held that there would be no problem with this. High-tech weaponry developed since Vietnam would subdue Iraq without any need for massive troop deployments. So the US has 130,000 troops in Iraq, compared to the half a million it had in Vietnam. The high-tech weaponry worked against Saddam Hussein’s army, with its out of date weaponry and its disgruntled rank and file soldiers. But it cannot subdue the new guerrilla forces. They can emerge suddenly from the mass of ordinary Iraqis to inflict casualties on the troops and helicopters of the occupying forces with relatively cheap low-tech weapons, and then disappear just as quickly. To deal with these guerrillas the US needs very large numbers of soldiers on the ground, able to terrorise every neighbourhood and every workplace. But it cannot send these in itself because this would lose Bush the election. It would also weaken the ability of the US ruling class to impose its will on other parts of the world. Every time a helicopter goes up in flames or a bomb damages the occupying forces, it is another setback for their plans for US big business to dominate the world.

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Features
Sat 22 Nov 2003, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1"
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